Bells Bend Nature Center goes Green.

Published January 12, 2011

WSMV.com

Nashville Nature Centers Go Green

Project Integrates Solar, Geothermal Energy Sources

POSTED: 5:41 pm CST December 18, 2007
UPDATED: 10:21 pm CST December 18, 2007

Several nature centers in Nashville are saving money by going green and raising environmental awareness.

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“The people of this area have been living off the land and living with the land and living in harmony with the land for a long time, and so we hope that this building will be a demonstration, and will be an exhibit in itself about how people can live,” said Sandy Bivens of Metro Parks.Solar panels are going up on the roof of the new Bells Bend Nature Center and even some neighbors will see a benefit.”I have it on my house, and I have meters in my kitchen. I can see how much I’m using and how much I’m generating in real-time on that kitchen counter,” said Steve Johnson, the owner of Lightwave Solar Electric. “It’ll just go out to the next transformer and up and over to the next farmhouse or whatever else is around here that needs power. The closest place, that’s where it’ll go.”Metro Parks hopes the power of the sun will propel the building, and its visitors, into a new way of thinking.”Shelby Bottoms Park has a green roof that will focus on water conservation and insulation, so it will save energy and water. Bells Bend has the solar panels that will generate electricity, and Beaman Park will use the energy of the heating and cooling of the earth for geothermal energy,” said Bivens.Experts believe that green building concepts are a way for more people to appreciate the world’s relationship with nature and the fine balance of available resources versus our growing demand for energy.”Our grandparents had maybe one television, one refrigerator, a radio and some lights. Now, we’ve got a couple of refrigerators, several televisions, computers, laser printers, jet printers, scanners, iPods,” said Johnson.All three nature centers in Metro should be open and ready for the public by next spring. The solar panels are built in Tennessee.

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